Agri News: A noteworthy development
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Manila Bulletin By ZAC B. SARIAN
The good news is that the farmers being trained to grow high-value vegetables and other crops are being afforded an excellent opportunity to sell their products, too.
We are referring to the more than 1,000 trainees in vegetable production under the auspices of the SM Foundation in collaboration with Harbest Agribusiness Corporation headed by our friend Toto Barcelona.
The branches of SM malls in different parts of the country will be offering to the consuming public the products of farmers who have trained under the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers Training Program. In partnership with Harbest Agribusiness Corporation, SM Foundation and SM Hypermart launched the Fresh Greens market day from September 15 to November 19.
The twice-monthly Fruits and Vegetables Market Day will help farmers sell their products. That will substantially increase their incomes for their families use as well as funds to finance their next planting.
With a prestigious chain selling their produce, the farmers will be forced to improve the quality of their harvests to meet the standards required.
That way, they will become more businesslike in running their farming operations.
Harbest Agribusiness will act as the consignor on behalf of the farmers.
Proceeds of the sales will be distributed by Harbest Agribusiness to the farmers.
The collaboration of SM Foundation with Harbest Agribusiness has enabled thus far 1,734 farmers to graduate under the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan program. Ongoing are three farmers training programs in Davao, Bulacan and Nasugbu (Batangas). SM Foundation expects 1,200 farmer graduates this year, higher than the projected target of 900.
The most recent graduation and harvest festival was held at Brgy. San Felipe, Padre Garcia in Batangas where 99 farmers underwent training. At the end of the program, the new graduates showed off their harvest. Among the high-value vegetables and other crops grown are tomato, eggplant, pachoy, lettuce, ampalaya, upo, squash, sweet corn, watermelon, honeydew melon and others.